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Modeling Down Syndrome Neurodevelopment With Dosage Compensation, Jan T. Czerminski Jul 2019

Modeling Down Syndrome Neurodevelopment With Dosage Compensation, Jan T. Czerminski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Due to their underlying genetic complexity, chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome (DS), which is caused by trisomy 21, have long been understudied and continue to lack effective treatments. With over 200 genes on the extra chromosome, even the specific cell pathologies and pathways impacted in DS are not known, and it has not been considered a viable target for the burgeoning field of gene therapy. Recently, our lab demonstrated that the natural mechanism of dosage compensation can be harnessed to silence the trisomic chromosome in pluripotent cells. Using an inducible XIST transgene allows us to study the effects of ...


Tumor-Stroma Interactions Differentially Alter Drug Sensitivity Based On The Origin Of Stromal Cells, Benjamin D. Landry Oct 2018

Tumor-Stroma Interactions Differentially Alter Drug Sensitivity Based On The Origin Of Stromal Cells, Benjamin D. Landry

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Tumor heterogeneity observed between patients has made it challenging to develop universal or broadly effective cancer therapies. Therefore, an ever-growing movement within cancer research aims to tailor cancer therapies to individual patients or specific tumor subtypes. Tumor stratification is generally dictated by the genomic mutation status of the tumor cells themselves. Importantly, non-genetic influences – such as interactions between tumor cells and other components of the tumor microenvironment – have largely been ignored. Therefore, in an effort to increase treatment predictability and efficacy, we investigated how tumor-stroma interactions contribute to drug sensitivity and drug resistance.

I designed a high throughput co-culture screening ...


Dosage Compensation Of Trisomy 21 And Its Implications For Hematopoietic Pathogenesis In Down Syndrome, Jen-Chieh Chiang Nov 2017

Dosage Compensation Of Trisomy 21 And Its Implications For Hematopoietic Pathogenesis In Down Syndrome, Jen-Chieh Chiang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Down Syndrome (DS), the most common aneuploidy seen in live-borns, is caused by trisomy for chromosome 21. DS imposes high risks for multiple health issues involving various systems of the body. The genetic complexity of trisomy 21 and natural variation between all individuals has impeded understanding of the specific cell pathologies and pathways involved. In addition, chromosomal disorders have been considered outside the hopeful progress in gene therapies for single-gene disorders. Here we test the feasibility of correcting imbalanced expression of genes across an extra chromosome by expression of a single gene, XIST, the key player in X chromosome inactivation ...


Investigating Structural And Functional Defects In Als-Causing Profilin 1 Variants, Sivakumar Boopathy Sep 2017

Investigating Structural And Functional Defects In Als-Causing Profilin 1 Variants, Sivakumar Boopathy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Mutations in profilin 1 (PFN1) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease that targets motor neurons. PFN1 is a 15 kDa protein that is best known for its role in actin dynamics. However, little is known about the pathological mechanisms of PFN1 in ALS. In this dissertation, it is demonstrated that certain familial ALS-linked mutations severely destabilize the native conformation of PFN1 in vitro and cause accelerated turnover of the PFN1 protein in neuronal cells. This mutation-induced destabilization can account for the high propensity of ALS-linked variants to aggregate and also provides rationale for their reported functional defects ...


Platelet Transcriptome Heterogeneity: A Role For Rna Uptake In Vascular Health And Disease, Lauren R. Clancy Aug 2017

Platelet Transcriptome Heterogeneity: A Role For Rna Uptake In Vascular Health And Disease, Lauren R. Clancy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

As our understanding of the platelet’s systemic role continues to expand beyond hemostasis and thrombosis, interrogation of the platelet’s ability to affect diverse biological processes is required. Studies of the platelet’s non-traditional roles have focused on developing our understanding of the platelet’s relation to specific disease phenotypes as well as elucidation of platelet characteristics, content, and function. The generic content, traditional function and heterogeneity of platelets have long been accepted; more ambiguous and controversial has been how these factors are interrelated.

Investigation of platelet content revealed the presence of biologically functional RNA in anucleated platelets, the ...


Intergenerational Effects Of Nicotine In An Animal Model Of Paternal Nicotine Exposure, Markus Parzival Vallaster Aug 2017

Intergenerational Effects Of Nicotine In An Animal Model Of Paternal Nicotine Exposure, Markus Parzival Vallaster

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Environmental conditions imposed onto organisms during certain phases of their life cycles such as embryogenesis or puberty can not only impact the organisms’ own health, but also affect subsequent generations. The underlying mechanisms causing intergenerational phenotypes are not encoded in the genome, but the result of reversible epigenetic modifications. This work investigates in a mouse model the impact of paternal nicotine exposure on the next generation regarding addictive behavior modulation, metabolic changes, and molecular mechanisms. It provides evidence that male offspring from nicotine-exposed fathers (NIC offspring) is more resistant to lethal doses of nicotine. This phenotype is gender-specific and depends ...


Exploring New Therapeutic Strategies For Osteoarthritis: From Genetic Manipulation Of Skeletal Tissues To Chemically-Modified Synthetic Hydrogels, Henry Huang Mar 2017

Exploring New Therapeutic Strategies For Osteoarthritis: From Genetic Manipulation Of Skeletal Tissues To Chemically-Modified Synthetic Hydrogels, Henry Huang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative disease of articular joints, is the leading cause of chronic disability in the US and affects more than a third of adults over 65 years old. Due to the obesity epidemic and an aging population, the prevalence of OA is expected to rise in both young and old adults. There are no disease modifying OA drugs. Therefore, providing any treatment options that delay the onset or progression of OA is highly desirable. The scope of this dissertation examines two different strategies to promote translational therapies for OA. The first approach investigated whether Smad ubiquitin regulatory factor ...


Histone Deacetylase 3 Coordinates Heart Development Through Stage-Specific Roles In Cardiac Progenitor Cells, Sara L. Lewandowski Dec 2016

Histone Deacetylase 3 Coordinates Heart Development Through Stage-Specific Roles In Cardiac Progenitor Cells, Sara L. Lewandowski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Disruptions in cardiac development cause congenital heart disease, the most prevalent and deadly congenital malformation. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to contribute to these defects, however molecular mechanisms remain largely undefined. Recent work highlighted potential roles of chromatin- modifying enzymes in congenital heart disease pathogenesis. Histone deacetylases, a class of chromatin-modifying enzymes, have developmental importance and recognized roles in the mature heart. This thesis aimed to characterize functions of Hdac3 in cardiac development. We found loss of Hdac3 in the primary heart field causes precocious progenitor cell differentiation, resulting in hypoplastic ventricular walls, ventricular septal defect, and mid- gestational ...


The Origin Of Human White, Brown, And Brite/Beige Adipocytes, So Yun Min Dec 2016

The Origin Of Human White, Brown, And Brite/Beige Adipocytes, So Yun Min

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

During embryonic development, adipocytes emerge from microvasculature. Lineage-­‐tracing studies in mice have shown that adipocyte progenitors reside in the adipose tissue capillaries. However, the direct evidence of an association between adipocyte progenitors and vasculature in humans is lacking. A specific class of adipocytes (brown and beige/brite) expresses the uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which consumes glucose and fatty acids to generate heat. The abundance of UCP1- containing adipocytes correlates with a lean metabolically healthy phenotype in human. However, a causal relationship between the presence of these cells and metabolic benefits in human is not clear.

In this thesis, I ...


Histopathological Characterization Of The Dystrophic Phenotype And Development Of Therapeutic Candidates For A Gene Therapy Pre-Clinical Study In Dysferlin Deficient Mice, Leticia Fridman Sep 2016

Histopathological Characterization Of The Dystrophic Phenotype And Development Of Therapeutic Candidates For A Gene Therapy Pre-Clinical Study In Dysferlin Deficient Mice, Leticia Fridman

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Dysferlin deficient muscular dystrophy is a devastating disease that leads to loss of mobility and quality of life in patients. Dysferlin is a 230 kD protein primarily expressed in skeletal muscle that functions in membrane resealing. Dysferlin loss of function leads to a decrease in the membrane resealing response after injury in skeletal muscle, which is thought to cause degeneration of the musculature over time. Dysferlin cDNA is 7.4 kb and exceeds AAV packaging capacity of ~ 5kb. This thesis focuses on the generation of mini dysferlin mutants that can be packaged in AAV for downstream testing of therapeutic efficacy ...


Exploiting Dna Repair And Er Stress Response Pathways To Induce Apoptosis In Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Dissertation, Jessica L. Weatherbee Aug 2016

Exploiting Dna Repair And Er Stress Response Pathways To Induce Apoptosis In Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Dissertation, Jessica L. Weatherbee

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a deadly grade IV brain tumor characterized by a heterogeneous population of cells that are drug resistant, aggressive, and infiltrative. The current standard of care, which has not changed in over a decade, only provides GBM patients with 12-14 months survival post diagnosis. We asked if the addition of a novel endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducing agent, JLK1486, to the standard chemotherapy, temozolomide (TMZ), which induces DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), would enhance TMZ’s efficacy. Because GBMs rely on the ER to mitigate their hypoxic environment and DNA repair to fix TMZ induced DSBs, we ...


The Smurf2-Yy1-C-Myc Axis In The Germinal Center Reaction And Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma: A Dissertation, Sally E. Trabucco Jun 2016

The Smurf2-Yy1-C-Myc Axis In The Germinal Center Reaction And Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma: A Dissertation, Sally E. Trabucco

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Patients who fail conventional therapy (~50%) have a poor prognosis and few treatment options. It is essential to understand the underlying biological processes, the progression of the disease, and utilize this information to develop new therapeutics.

DLBCL patients with high C-MYC expression have a poor prognosis and new therapeutics for these patients are needed. This thesis describes work testing the hypothesis that JQ1, which can indirectly inhibit C-MYC in some tumors, can be used as an effective treatment for DLBCL. Some tumors have an unknown mechanism causing ...


The Impact Of Mtorc2 Signaling On The Initiation And Progression Of Kras-Driven Pancreatic Neoplasias: A Dissertation, David R. Driscoll Mar 2016

The Impact Of Mtorc2 Signaling On The Initiation And Progression Of Kras-Driven Pancreatic Neoplasias: A Dissertation, David R. Driscoll

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer, develops through progression of premalignant pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs). In mouse-models, KRAS-activation in acinar cells induced an acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM), and mutation of the Kras oncogene is believed to initiate PanIN formation. ADM is also promoted by pancreatic injury, which cooperates with activated KRAS to stimulate PanIN and PDAC formation from metaplastic ducts.

Our lab, and others, have shown that the downstream PI3K/AKT pathway is important for KRAS-mediated proliferation and survival in vitro and in vivo. Prior studies have demonstrated that full activation of AKT requires both PDK1- ...


Characterization Of Higher-Order Chromatin Structure In Bone Differentiation And Breast Cancer: A Dissertation, Ahmet Rasim Barutcu Feb 2016

Characterization Of Higher-Order Chromatin Structure In Bone Differentiation And Breast Cancer: A Dissertation, Ahmet Rasim Barutcu

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Higher-order genome organization is important for the regulation of gene expression by bringing different cis-regulatory elements and promoters in proximity. The establishment and maintenance of long-range chromatin interactions occur in response to cellular and environmental cues with the binding of transcription factors and chromatin modifiers. Understanding the organization of the nucleus in differentiation and cancer has been a long standing challenge and is still not well-understood. In this thesis, I explore the dynamic changes in the higher-order chromatin structure in bone differentiation and breast cancer. First, we show dynamic chromatin contact between a distal regulatory element and the promoter of ...


Function Of The Β4 Integrin In Cancer Stem Cells And Tumor Formation In Breast Cancer: A Masters Thesis, Huayan Sun Jan 2016

Function Of The Β4 Integrin In Cancer Stem Cells And Tumor Formation In Breast Cancer: A Masters Thesis, Huayan Sun

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The integrin α6β4 (referred to as β4) is expressed in epithelial cells where it functions as a laminin receptor. Integrin β4 is important for the organization and maintenance of epithelial architecture in normal cells. Particularly, β4 is shown to be essential for mammary gland development during embryogenesis. Integrin β4 also plays important roles in tumor formation, invasion and metastasis in breast cancer. However, the mechanism of how integrin β4 mediates breast tumor formation has not been settled. A few studies suggest that integrin β4 is involved in cancer stem cells (CSCs), but the mechanism is not clear. To address this ...


Roles Of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 7 And Jumonji Domain-Containing Protein 6 In Adipocyte Differentiation: A Dissertation, Yu-Jie Hu Oct 2015

Roles Of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 7 And Jumonji Domain-Containing Protein 6 In Adipocyte Differentiation: A Dissertation, Yu-Jie Hu

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Regulation of gene expression comprises a wide range of mechanisms that control the abundance of gene products in response to environmental and developmental changes. These biological processes can be modulated by posttranslational modifications including arginine methylation. Among the enzymes that catalyze the methylation, protein arginine methyltransferase 7 (PRMT7) is known to modify histones to repress gene expression. Jumonji domain-containing protein 6 (JMJD6) is a putative arginine demethylase that potentially antagonize PRMT7. However, the biological significance of these enzymes is not well understood. This thesis summarizes the investigation of both PRMT7 and JMJD6 in cell culture models for adipocyte differentiation. The ...


Insights Into Melanocyte Regeneration And Melanoma Initiation Using The Zebrafish Model System: A Dissertation, Sharanya Iyengar Oct 2015

Insights Into Melanocyte Regeneration And Melanoma Initiation Using The Zebrafish Model System: A Dissertation, Sharanya Iyengar

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

During regeneration, cells must coordinate proliferation and differentiation to rebuild tissues that are lost. Understanding how source cells execute the regeneration process has been a longstanding goal in regenerative biology with implications in wound healing and cell replacement therapies. Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells in the skin of vertebrates that can be lost during hair graying, injury and disease-related depigmentation. Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that develops from melanocytes, and it is hypothesized that melanoma cells have properties that are similar to melanocyte stem cells.

To gain insight into melanocyte regeneration we set out to identify the source of regeneration ...


Exploring The Role Of Fus Mutants From Stress Granule Incorporation To Nucleopathy In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Dissertation, Hae Kyung Ko Sep 2015

Exploring The Role Of Fus Mutants From Stress Granule Incorporation To Nucleopathy In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Dissertation, Hae Kyung Ko

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by preferential motor neuron death in the brain and spinal cord. The rapid disease progression results in death due to respiratory failure, typically within 3-5 years after disease onset. While ~90% of cases occur sporadically, remaining 10% of ALS cases show familial inheritance, and the number of genes linked to ALS has increased dramatically over the past decade.

FUS/TLS (Fused in Sarcoma/ Translocated to liposarcoma) is a nucleic acid binding protein that may regulate several cellular functions, including RNA splicing, transcription, DNA damage repair and microRNA biogenesis. More than ...


Investigating The Effects Of Mutant Fus On Stress Response In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Thesis, Laura J. Kaushansky Aug 2015

Investigating The Effects Of Mutant Fus On Stress Response In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Thesis, Laura J. Kaushansky

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

During stress, eukaryotes regulate protein synthesis in part through formation of cytoplasmic, non-membrane-bound complexes called stress granules (SGs). SGs transiently store signaling proteins and stalled translational complexes in response to stress stimuli (e.g. oxidative insult, DNA damage, temperature shifts and ER dysfunction). The functional outcome of SGs is proper translational regulation and signaling, allowing cells to overcome stress.

The fatal motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) develops in an age-related manner and is marked by progressive neuronal death, with cytoplasmic protein aggregation, excitotoxicity and increased oxidative stress as major hallmarks. Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS) is ...


Exploring New Strategies To Overcome Resistance In Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Dissertation, Yulian P. Ellis Aug 2015

Exploring New Strategies To Overcome Resistance In Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Dissertation, Yulian P. Ellis

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors are highly malignant in nature and despite an aggressive therapy regimen, long–term survival for glioma patients is uncommon as cells with intrinsic or acquired resistance to treatment repopulate the tumor. This creates the need to investigate new therapies for enhancing GBM treatment outside of the standard of care, which includes Temozolomide (TMZ). Our lab focused on two novel strategies to overcome resistance in GBMs. In our first approach, the cellular responses of GBM cell lines to two new TMZ analogues, DP68 and DP86, are reported. The efficacy of these compounds was independent of DNA repair ...


Jun Kinases In Hematopoiesis, And Vascular Development And Function: A Dissertation, Kasmir Ramo Jul 2015

Jun Kinases In Hematopoiesis, And Vascular Development And Function: A Dissertation, Kasmir Ramo

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Arterial occlusive diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries and represent a huge economic burden. The extent of the native collateral circulation is an important determinant of blood perfusion restoration and therefore the severity of tissue damage and functional impairment that ensues following arterial occlusion. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for collateral artery development may provide avenues for therapeutic intervention. Here, we identify a critical requirement for mixed lineage kinase (MLK) – cJun-NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling in vascular morphogenesis and native collateral artery development. We demonstrate that Mlk2-/-Mlk3-/- mice or mice with compound JNK-deficiency in the vascular ...


Cathosis: Cathepsins In Particle-Induced Inflammatory Cell Death: A Dissertation, Gregory M. Orlowski May 2015

Cathosis: Cathepsins In Particle-Induced Inflammatory Cell Death: A Dissertation, Gregory M. Orlowski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Sterile particles underlie the pathogenesis of numerous inflammatory diseases. These diseases can often become chronic and debilitating. Moreover, they are common, and include silicosis (silica), asbestosis (asbestos), gout (monosodium urate), atherosclerosis (cholesterol crystals), and Alzeihmer’s disease (amyloid Aβ). Central to the pathology of these diseases is a repeating cycle of particle-induced cell death and inflammation. Macrophages are the key cellular mediators thought to drive this process, as they are especially sensitive to particle-induced cell death and they are also the dominant producers of the cytokine responsible for much of this inflammation, IL-1β. In response to cytokines or microbial cues ...


Subtle Controllers: Micrornas Drive Pancreatic Tumorigenesis And Progression: A Dissertation, Brian J. Quattrochi Apr 2015

Subtle Controllers: Micrornas Drive Pancreatic Tumorigenesis And Progression: A Dissertation, Brian J. Quattrochi

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is among the most lethal malignancies in the United States, with an average five-year survival rate of just 6.7%. One unifying aspect of PDAC is mutational activation of the KRAS oncogene, which occurs in over 90% of PDAC. Therefore, inhibiting KRAS function is likely an effective therapeutic strategy for this disease, and current research in our lab and others is focused on identifying downstream effectors of KRAS signaling that may be therapeutic targets. miRNAs are powerful regulators of gene expression that can behave as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Dysregulation of miRNA expression is commonly observed ...


Function And Regulation Of The Α6 Integrins In Mammary Epithelial Biology And Breast Cancer: A Dissertation, Cheng Chang Feb 2015

Function And Regulation Of The Α6 Integrins In Mammary Epithelial Biology And Breast Cancer: A Dissertation, Cheng Chang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Integrins have the ability to impact major aspects of epithelial biology including adhesion, migration, invasion, signaling and differentiation, as well as the formation and progression of cancer (Hynes 2002; Srichai and Zent 2010; Anderson et al. 2014). This thesis focuses on how integrins are regulated and function in the context of mammary epithelial biology and breast cancer with a specific focus on the α6 integrin heterodimers (α6β1 and α6β4). These integrins function primarily as receptors for the laminin family of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and they have been implicated in mammary gland biology and breast cancer (Friedrichs et al. 1995 ...


Calcium Dependent Regulatory Mechanism In Wolfram Syndrome: A Dissertation, Simin Lu Feb 2015

Calcium Dependent Regulatory Mechanism In Wolfram Syndrome: A Dissertation, Simin Lu

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Wolfram syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by diabetes and neurodegeneration. Two causative genes have been identified so far, WFS1 and WFS2, both encoding endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized transmembrane proteins. Since WFS1 is involved in the ER stress pathway, Wolfram syndrome is considered an ER disease. Despite the underlying importance of ER dysfunction in Wolfram syndrome, the molecular mechanism linking ER to the death of β cells and neurons has not been elucidated.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle that forms a network of enclosed sacs and tubes that connect the nuclear membrane and other organelles including Golgi and ...


Autophagy-Independent Role For Beclin 1 In The Regulation Of Growth Factor Receptor Signaling: A Dissertation, Rasika Rohatgi Jan 2015

Autophagy-Independent Role For Beclin 1 In The Regulation Of Growth Factor Receptor Signaling: A Dissertation, Rasika Rohatgi

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Beclin 1 is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor that is decreased in many human tumors. The function of Beclin 1 in cancer has been attributed primarily to its role in the degradative process of autophagy. However, the role of autophagy itself in tumorigenesis is context-dependent and can be both preventive and promoting. Due to its dual function in cancer a better understanding of this process is necessary to develop potential novel cancer therapies. To gain insight into the role of autophagy in breast carcinoma, I analyzed the autophagydependency of different subtypes of breast cancer. My results implicate that triple-negative breast carcinoma ...


Gli-Ikbke Requirement In Kras-Induced Pancreatic Tumorigenesis: A Dissertation, Mihir S. Rajurkar Nov 2014

Gli-Ikbke Requirement In Kras-Induced Pancreatic Tumorigenesis: A Dissertation, Mihir S. Rajurkar

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the most aggressive human malignancies, is thought to be initiated by KRAS activation. Here, we find that transcriptional activation mediated by the GLI family of transcription factors, although dispensable for pancreatic development, is required for KRAS induced pancreatic transformation. Inhibition of GLI using a dominant-negative repressor (Gli3T) inhibits formation of precursor Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PanIN) lesions in mice, and significantly extends survival in a mouse model of PDAC. Further, ectopic activation of the GLI1/2 transcription factors in mouse pancreas accelerates KRAS driven tumor formation and reduces survival, underscoring the importance of GLI transcription ...


Amphiphilic Degradable Polymer/Hydroxyapatite Composites As Smart Bone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds: A Dissertation, Artem B. Kutikov Nov 2014

Amphiphilic Degradable Polymer/Hydroxyapatite Composites As Smart Bone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds: A Dissertation, Artem B. Kutikov

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Over 600,000 bone-grafting operations are performed each year in the United States. The majority of the bone used for these surgeries comes from autografts that are limited in quantity or allografts with high failure rates. Current synthetic bone grafting materials have poor mechanical properties, handling characteristics, and bioactivity. The goal of this dissertation was to develop a clinically translatable bone tissue engineering scaffold with improved handling characteristics, bioactivity, and smart delivery modalities. We hypothesized that this could be achieved through the rational selection of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved materials that blend favorably with hydroxyapatite (HA), the principle ...


Oncogene Function In Pre-Leukemia Stage Of Inv(16) Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Dissertation, Liting Xue Oct 2014

Oncogene Function In Pre-Leukemia Stage Of Inv(16) Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Dissertation, Liting Xue

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The CBFbeta-SMMHC fusion protein is expressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples with the chromosome inversion inv(16)(p13;q22). This fusion protein binds the transcription factor RUNX with higher affinity than its physiological partner CBFbeta and disrupts the core binding factor (CBF) activity in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Studies in the Castilla laboratory have shown that CBFbeta-SMMHC expression blocks differentiation of hematopoietic progenitors, creating a pre-leukemic progenitor that progresses to AML in cooperation with other mutations. However, the combined function of cumulative cooperating mutations in the pre-leukemic progenitor cells that enhance their expansion to induce leukemia is not ...


Identification And Characteristics Of Factors Regulating Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression And Metastasis: A Dissertation, Leanne G. Ahronian Mar 2014

Identification And Characteristics Of Factors Regulating Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression And Metastasis: A Dissertation, Leanne G. Ahronian

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy of the liver that is one of the most frequent causes of cancer-related death in the world. Surgical resection and liver transplantation are the only curative options for HCC, and tumor invasion and metastasis render many patients ineligible for these treatments. Identification of the mechanisms that contribute to invasive and metastatic disease may enlighten therapeutic strategies for those not eligible for surgical treatments. In this dissertation, I describe two sets of experiments to elucidate mechanisms underlying HCC dissemination, involving the activities of Krüppel-like factor 6 and a particular p53 point mutation, R172H.

Gene ...